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London Cocktail Week

03/10/2014
Written by Gin Foundry

London Cocktail Week has returned! The unique celebration of the capital’s unrivalled cocktail culture is back. For seven days, 200 of the best bars throw open their doors to offer £4 cocktails to wristband wearers, plus there’s pop-ups, parties, tastings and tours galore. This is all great news but with so much on, it might leave you wondering what are the GIN highlights worth looking out for?

Well, we’ve got just the thing for you… Here are a few gin related events to note down in your diaries!

If you’re heading out East, then the Tanqueray Hub at Hixter City is the place to start! Not only can you collect your all-essential wristband, there are also free daily masterclasses from 6PM-7PM with Tanqueray Gin’s Brand Ambassador Tim Homewood. Enough said surely? No – there’s more reasons to head over too…

We’ve been hearing a lot about the Tanqueray Hub, mainly as they are a headline sponsor and they are taking the responsibility of living up to the billing seriously with plenty of activities – but also, because they genuinely have some really amazing events lined up so there’s quite a lot of excitement around it.

Offering a taste of Tanqueray throughout the ages, guests visiting the hub will be able to explore the glamorous past of gin throughout the week. It’s discreetly tucked away in the underground Mark’s Bar beneath Hixter, so keep your eyes peeled to find it! With live bands, flapper dancers, shoe shiners and exclusive gin and food pairing dinners, it’s not one you want to miss.

If we had to pick just one night to head over there, it would be for the Friday night party for sure! There’s an evening of vintage shoe shining, wet shaves, a vintage photobooth and music from the Top Shelf Band all set and raring to go. On that night – you should Tanqueray.

For those looking for a slightly more sedate yet equally fun night earlier in the week – they are hosting a dinner with Master Distiller Tom Nichols. Autumnal Orchard Cocktail on arrival and a cocktail pairing cocktail for each course. Again, it’s an event that’s bound to be a hit.

Take a look at the Cocktail Week site to see what you can simply turn up to and what needs to be booked in (some of the above is ticketed).

Like gin but love Gin & Tonics… what’s there to do for the G&T aficionado?

The guys putting the T into the premium end of the G&T – Fever-Tree of course – will be hosting a series of Safaris across the capital, visiting five of the best bars for the best Gin & Tonic serve.

Each safari will be hosted by gin connoisseur Craig Harper and his team, who will not only teach you about the rich history of the Gin and Tonic, but how to navigate your way through the hundreds of gin varieties and garnish options, helping you find the perfect G&T combination for you.

What about something a little more unusual?

Hendrick’s will be taking up the mantle and opening shop later in the week so make sure you stay tuned…

Beforehand however, Hendrick’s Brand Ambassador Duncan McRae will be unveiling the world’s first pedal-powered cocktail shaker, ‘The Boneshaker’. A very curious contraption designed to lubricate the cogs of conversation in more ways than one… Expect the unexpected and some tasty tipples to accompany it.

And what about something really geeky for all of you readers in this fabulous Drinks industry we are proud to be a part of?

There are a few tastings and masterclasses aimed and bartenders from several of the distilleries so look out for talks going on in existing bars, but this is our personal highlight if you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary:

Having spoken to the Bombay Sapphire team, it sounds like it’ll be one of the best trade events happening at the Bacardi Forman Brown Hub. Designer, alchemist and avid seeker of scent Lauren Davies of HEKA Lab is collaborating with Bombay Sapphire to talk about the parallels between the iconic gin brand and her own design work.

She will speak about her project The Alchemist’s Dressing Table and her focus on heritage, craftspeople, innovation, and sustainability which is very much in keeping with the brand’s own ethos.

The botanicals that form Bombay Sapphire’s unique flavour will be explored through the medium of natural perfume – a subject which Davies draws much of her inspiration from. Through discovering the history and chemical properties of certain materials, this talk aims to inspire magical and exciting new ways of thinking about, using and experiencing botanicals.

You’ll need a trade wrist band to get access to the talk – but if you have one, DON’T MISS OUT!

We’ll be going to a lot of the events and will be reporting live so take a look at Twitter (@GinFoundry) for what’s going on throughout the week. Whatever you are up to and wherever you end up this Cocktail Week – let us know by joining in the conversation and we hope you have a great time!

Cheers!